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Hail Mary (1985)
"'Je vous salue, Marie'" (original title)

Not Rated  |   |  Drama  |  11 October 1985 (USA)
6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 1,992 users  
Reviews: 22 user | 30 critic

In this modern retelling of the Virgin birth, Mary is a student who plays basketball and works at her father's petrol station; Joseph is an earnest dropout who drives a cab. The angel ... See full summary »

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Title: Hail Mary (1985)

Hail Mary (1985) on IMDb 6.7/10

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2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Myriem Roussel ...
Thierry Rode ...
Philippe Lacoste ...
Manon Andersen ...
Malachi Jara Kohan ...
...
Dick ...
Le chien
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Georges Staquet
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Storyline

In this modern retelling of the Virgin birth, Mary is a student who plays basketball and works at her father's petrol station; Joseph is an earnest dropout who drives a cab. The angel Gabriel must school Joseph to accept Mary's pregnancy, while Mary comes to terms with God's plan through meditations that are sometimes angry and usually punctuated by elemental images of the sun, moon, clouds, flowers, and water. Godard intercuts a brief parallel story of Eva and her nameless lover; their adulterous affair, rife with philosophical discussions, leads nowhere. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

11 October 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hail Mary  »

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Technical Specs

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Quotes

Juliette: If God exists, then nothing is allowed.
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Connections

References Pickpocket (1959) See more »

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User Reviews

 
postmodern take on the story of Mary is surprisingly more relevant today than when it was released.
9 November 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is a fascinating film. The story of a modern day Virgin Mary dealing with issues like human sexuality and the divinity as well as themes of "intelligent design" /creationism are challenging for the viewer to say the least. Godard has always been way ahead of his time in terms of formal aspects of film as well as socio-political points of view. This film was shot in 1984-85 and he addresses issues that are very relevant to the contemporary resurgence of faith - especially in American society today.

The fact that the professor's teachings are thinly veiled creationism as science is very revealing. It provides background and encourages the viewer question what is really going on with Mary and the idea of the creator/divine affecting her body and her life.

The nudity is not exploitative. A feminist reading of the film would probably be positive since the character of Mary is shown as intensely self-aware and strong rather than victimized or exploited.

The cinematography of Menoud and Firmann is excellent throughout. This applies to both the nature photography as well as the narrative composed shots. I think a lot of the shots were composed with the idea of replicating some classical paintings (Giotto, Fra Angelico) with severe fore-shortening.

The sound track is multiple-layered mix of music from Bach (St. Matthew's Passion, concertos) and Dvorak, dialog and sounds of natural environment and wildlife. It's a relatively short film (78 minutes)- but it's amazing to see and hear how densely compact it is with a very complex relationship of sound and image.

The way this film tackles the concept of divinity as it pertains to modern life is bound to cause controversy amongst conservative followers of organized religion precisely because it forces you to question what is taken as absolute. Whether you find it blasphemous or reverent is beside the point -that's the difference between spoonfed mainstream movies( like POTC) and the engaging cinema of Godard. You will find no moralistic pandering here. If you are close-minded or easily upset about nudity, then this film is not for you. If you have an open mind and are just curious to see what one of the true masters of cinema was capable of 20 years ago then you should see this interesting film. If you are willing to question the story of Mary not only from a theological perspective but from a post-modern point of view, then it is essential viewing.


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